X marks the spot
Today's post is about where I live and includes a letter about my home town.
You provided a safe haven from the Pogroms in Eastern Europe for both sets of my grandparents. Their brick built, back-to-back houses on cobbled roads, where the women had to raise the washing lines to allow my father’s car to pass, are no longer standing. High rise homes and offices made out of steel, wood and glass have taken their place. After more than a century, you are still receiving refugees from all persuasions and cultures with open arms.
I still reside within your boundaries. Born over a shop in Chapeltown, I have ventured farther afield for work and study, to London and across the sea to France and Italy, but have been drawn back to your embrace each time. Although the people I encountered may not have been familiar with where you were on a map, there was a time when the legend of your football team was known by all.
I do not mourn the disappearance of your factories and mills and the resulting covering of grime, but dislike the loss of the small, individual shops to the likes of impersonal giants such as Tesco. I welcome the regeneration of the dockside and the new skyscrapers such as Bridgewater, but roads are becoming gridlocked and I find the development projects of the city centre unco-ordinated. Will we ever see the finished product?
I may object to the way you spend our council tax, but generally I feel you take a paternalistic attitude to all your citizens. Your city parks do you credit; Roundhay, Temple Newsam and Golden Acre are excellent, green, recreational areas open to everyone. The countryside is easily reached from your city limits and I also congratulate you on your notorious International Piano Competition, Music and Film Festivals.
I feel sure you must be proud of your famous sons and daughters who made great contributions to literature, drama, music, sport and commerce and you should wear your coat of arms with the golden owls with pride.
Wishing you continued success,
What would you say about yours?